Re. below is a recent note on some FOI developments in the UK and what their librarians are doing about it.
For your information, this coming May, there will be a pre-conference session (May 26th) at APLA on the new world of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) and the Protection of Personal Information and Electronic Data Act (PIPEDA): Implications for libraries and information services. The session will be co-sponsored by CASLIS Atlantic and the Nova Scotia Public Library. More information on this and other sessions will be distributed in the coming weeks.
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Subject: [CPI-UA] United Kingdom Freedom of Information Guide Launched Online by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
January 4, 2005 News Release
Information professionals essential to help people make the most of new Freedom of Information law
Online guide launched to coincide with introduction of new legislation on 1 January
CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has launched a guide to Freedom of Information resources on the web. Timed to coincide with the coming into force of the Freedom of Information Act on 1 January 2005, the guide provides links direct to the Government departments and regulators involved, as well as to the relevant UK legislation and to FOI law in other countries.
"Information professionals are well placed to offer help on freedom of information issues," says Guy Daines, Head of Policy & Governance at CILIP. "Whether dealing with the public in local libraries, or supporting their own client users in business and industry, public bodies, law firms or the health sector, they will be in the front line for enquiries on what the new law will mean and where to go for advice."
Freedom of Information in the UK is a complex issue with many potential pitfalls, CILIP warns. "For example, there is a separate Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 that also comes into force on 1 January 2005," Mr Daines continues. "It has many similarities to the general UK Act but also important differences, notably in the way the 'public interest' test for exemptions is implemented and in the appeal mechanisms provided under the Act."
CILIP's Freedom of Information Panel has been analysing the implications of FOI for members of the Institute (the largest membership body for library and information professionals in the UK) and for the services they provide, and it made a series of recommendations in a report to the Institute's governing Council last December.
"The Freedom of Information Act is one of the most important developments for the information professions," the Panel concluded. "It provides opportunities for information professionals to strengthen their roles in their organisations, but there is a risk that responsibility for its delivery can be located away from our members, with adverse effects on the safe operation of the request management system."
CILIP's new FOI web resource also includes links to the Environment Information Regulations 1992, which are currently being revised, and to the Data Protection Act 1998 on the Information Commissioner's site. "These are other key pieces of legislation governing access to information," Mr Daines adds. "Many enquiries will have elements that will have to be dealt with under more than one of these pieces of legislation."
Also included are links to other organisations and associations with an interest in FOI, as well as guidance on further publications, information and news resources. The full service is available on CILIP's web site at:
...or by following links from www.cilip.org.uk <http://www.cilip.org.uk/> to 'Professional guidance, policy and research' and then to 'Freedom of Information'.
Contact: Tim Buckley Owen, Head of Membership, Marketing & Media.
Tel: 020 7255 0652
Email: [log in to unmask]
Notes to Editors
CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers, with around 23,000 members working in all sectors, including business and industry, science and technology, further and higher education, schools, local and central government, the health service, the voluntary sector, national and public libraries. For more information about CILIP, please go to www.cilip.org.uk <http://www.cilip.org.uk/> .
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Leo J. Deveau M.Ed., MLIS
9 Chestnut Avenue
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
"Why look for conspiracy when stupidity can explain so much?"